We know what’s coming and we’re not going to wait around for the PM’s announcement on Monday. The car is jammed with food, wine and treats for Alex. For me, its the normal detritus of a crafting life; needles, every kind of needle, wool, fabric, thread and my trusty Husqy.
Alex was furloughed this morning, its a term I’ve never heard used in relation to people, and it means that he will be paid to not work for the next twelve weeks. It took us all of 20 minutes to agree that this gives us permission to leave the City and travel to Pendippy. Its a large whitewashed house with a distinctive red roof and its been my family home for over 40 years. There is electricity, running water and an Aga which keeps the old place pretty warm even on the coldest days. No one lives there now, so me and Alex visit every summer for a couple of weeks to check it out and ensure it is maintained.
Over the past few days, as supermarket counters emptied, Alex worked out exactly how much food was needed for the next 12 weeks and through Amazon Prime stocked up on bags of protein shake, coffee, porridge and UHT milk. In his last Sainsbury’s dash, he managed to grab the remaining few bags of pasta and a bundle of cans of tomatoes. At Pendippy the freezer is full of the best local Salmon and other goodies left from our last visit and we can forage for fruit and veg in the gardens. We intend to live in isolation, without leaving the grounds, until the worst is over. We have no phone signal or wifi but we have a library full of books, and, we have each other.
Excited, we jump in the car for the long drive north. As we approach Pendippy the air seems cooler, the sun is fading and it looks like rain might follow. I open the car door and I hear the crash of waves on rocks. The seagulls are soaring and swooping above us, no doubt out for their evening meal.
The extensive pine forest behind the house has, before today, always given me the creeps. It makes the back of the house dark and gloomy but today it gives us privacy from the town, so no one will know we are here. There are some locals who don’t want City folk descending on their village but we have as much right to be here.
Anyway, we’ve decided that we have no intention of leaving!